NEW: President declares drought a state of disaster 

03 Apr, 2024 - 12:04 0 Views
NEW: President declares drought a state of disaster 

The Sunday Mail

Online Reporter 

President Mnangagwa has declared a state of disaster following the El Niño-induced drought that affected the 2023/2024 summer cropping season.

In his address at State House in Harare on Wednesday morning, President Mnangagwa said according to the Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Committee Report for 2023, at least 2,7 million people were expected to be food insecure from this month until the end of March 2024.

He said Government will work to ensure that all vulnerable households get food supplies on time.

“The current agricultural season of 2023 to 2024 has not performed according to expectations due to the El Niño-induced drought, as a result, more than 80 percent of our country received below normal rainfall,” he said.

“The country had put a total of 1 728 897 hectares under maize crop and other cereals. Ordinarily, this would have guaranteed a bountiful harvest.

“Further worsening the situation characterised by poor rainfall, was the outbreak of fall armyworm across the country.”

President Mnangagwa said on top of Government’s priority was securing food for all Zimbabweans, adding that adequate resources will be mobilised and re-directed towards national food security, including through supplementary grain imports.

He said preliminary assessments showed that Zimbabwe required in excess of US$2 billion towards various interventions.

“By this Declaration, I also call upon all Zimbabweans of goodwill, including those in the diaspora, the international community, United Nations agencies, development and humanitarian partners, international financial institutions, the private sector, churches and other faith-based organisations, as well as individuals to generously donate towards ameliorating this state of national disaster,” he said.

Zimbabwe is expecting 868 273 tonnes from this season’s harvest, hence the country faces a food cereal deficit of nearly 680 000 metric tonnes of grain.

To bridge the gap, Government has put in place measures to encourage private sector participation to import grain.

 

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